In a surprise move, former House Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey has resigned as chairman of FreedomWorks, the conservative Washington based group that has been strongly identified with the Tea Party movement.
Based on early press reports, Armey's departure does not appear to be a harmonious one.
Armey resigned in an e-mail on Friday. Someone leaked the email to Mother Jones, a left wing publication. Mother Jones contacted Armey, who confirmed his resignation and offered these comments in a story that ran Monday afternoon:
The top management team of FreedomWorks was taking a direction I thought was unproductive, and I thought it was time to move on with my life. At this point, I don't want to get into the details. I just want to go on with my life. . .
"Obviously I was not happy with the election results.We might've gotten better results if we had gone in a different direction. But it isn't that I got my nose out of line because we should've done better.
FreedomWorks Vice President Adam Brandon confirmed Armey's departure to CNN on Monday, saying "he did step down on Friday, and we wish him well."
Typically, the departure of a key leader of a high profile political organization is announced in a jointly issued press release, not in response to leaked stories.
Armey and FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe, a former Congressional staffer, had previously appeared to have been on the same page ideologically and tactically. In fact, they co-authored a book together in 2010, Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto.
David Corn, co-author of Monday's Mother Jones article, wrote a book published in March of 2012 highly critical of the Tea Party movement, Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back Against Boehner, Cantor, and the Tea Party.